Thailand’s Finance Ministry is preparing to sell its shares in 24 unlisted companies, including four massage parlour businesses, in the first quarter of this year, according to a statement on Wednesday.
The announcement of the state looking at exiting these businesses comes after news that the Victoria: The Secret Forever massage parlour was allegedly engaging in human-trafficking, according to Bangkok Post’s report.
Of the 24 unlisted entities, the combined asset value of 20 enterprises, including the four massage parlours, is said to be very small. And, the asset value of the four remaining entities are in the higher range although financial details were not disclosed. So, the state has hired KT Zmico Securities as a financial advisor to help with the process of stake sale in the high-value entities.
Piyawan Lamkitja, deputy director general of the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO), said, in a statement, the ministry holds about 0.5 – 2 per cent stakes each in four massage parlours: Davis Daimond Star, Davis Copacabana, Davis Golden Star and Davis Silver Star.
“It is the first time that SEPO has divested shares held by the Finance Ministry in companies that were foreclosed by law,” she said. “The Ministry does not receive any investment, nor does it engage in management.”
The Cabinet has passed the resolution since 2016 to allow the Finance Ministry to sell the unnecessary business shares to comply with five-year divestment plan through 2021.
To date, the Ministry holds the shares in 116 companies. Of total, 88 are private companies, 23 are state enterprises and the remainders are mutual funds. Around 33 of private companies have ended the businesses, she said.